The Wilton Community Interest Company has recently been approved a loan of £1.25 million from the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) to enable the construction of its new Enterprise Hub.
The Enterprise Hub is part of Our Wilton’s veterans-led regeneration project in Wilton, near Salisbury. The hub will provide start-up support, training space and serviced offices for SMEs across South Wiltshire. Veterans will be involved in running the Enterprise Hub, including management and maintenance work, IT support and programme development, as well as specialist operators who will be enlisted to grow particular sectors.
The project is mixed-use and includes 44 affordable flats and 21 houses for veterans and those with a military background to transition into civilian life in an accelerated and more targeted way. Additionally, it will contribute to the local community’s regeneration and long-term sustainability.
The wider Our Wilton project includes 315 Redrow houses, a care home and creche. The project is being led by development and regeneration company Our Enterprise Ltd.
Executive chairman of Our Enterprise and founder of the project, Matthew Bell explained, “This loan represents a huge vote of confidence for South Wiltshire and is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to access quality support, state-of-the-art IT and ‘funky’ high-quality space to help their businesses grow.
“At the same time, this is also making a major contribution to providing focussed support for service leavers and veterans in helping them transition to civilian life and increase their skills and earning potential.”
The SWLEP provides loans to businesses to support capital investment through its Growing Places Infrastructure Fund (GPIF) Loan Programme. GPIF is a ‘revolving loan fund’ which offers negotiable terms for repayment and a straightforward two-stage application process.
Paddy Bradley, director of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) said, “The Growing Places Infrastructure Fund is designed to give organisations like Our Wilton an injection of capital to help take them to the next phase. This will have a wider knock-on impact for the South Wiltshire community as new jobs and opportunities are created. We were impressed by Our Wilton’s application and plans and are delighted to be involved in a project that is supporting and transitioning service leavers and veterans to civilian life and at the same time growing our economy.”
SWLEP opened a call for new loans in early April. Businesses can make applications from £150,000 up to around £1m in support of capital projects that help stimulate innovation, enterprise, growth or productivity gains in the Swindon and Wiltshire area. Loan payments will be made in line with the development plan for the investment.
For further information and to make an expression of interest, please email Phil Clement, head of Investment & Export Phil.Clement@swlep.co.uk.
Pictured above: an artist’s impression of the Enterprise Hub